The demos, food, and cocktails weren't the only things at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival. There's also the tents, the people, and the beach. Basically, there was a lot going on! From celebrity chef sightings to late-night parties, I snapped photos of it all. At one point, I had total sensory overload. To get a better look at the event, I've put together a large gallery of images.
Check it out after the break.
One the events I was most excited about attending last weekend at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival was a happy hour hosted by Sandra Lee. It wasn't the hostess that I was anticipating, however, but the location: late fashion designer Gianni Versace's villa, Casa Casuarina. The party went from 5 to 7 on Saturday, and upon arrival, I was grossly disappointed. Not by the location, but by the hostess. It was pouring rain and the entire cocktail time was held outside. The bars were drenched, the guests huddled together trying not to get wet, and the waiters looked positively miserable. How could Lee not have taken into consideration the rain?! Luckily, the party gods were with Auntie Sandy, and the rain let up quickly. Only then was I able to enjoy the event and watch Sandra and her sister, Kimmy, parade around. There was also a best-dressed contest, a synchronized swimming show, and signature appetizers (fried ravioli, cucumber with smoked salmon mousse, and stuffed mushrooms).
Images can better describe the happy hour, so check out my pictures after the break.
My pal PartySugar just returned from Miami, where she attended the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. Sometime between mingling with celeb chefs at Rachael Ray's Burger Bash and seeing Emeril cook up Brazilian fish stew, she got the chance to visit Casa Casuarina, the former home of a very famous fashion designer. Party was sweet enough to take photos for me, and as you can see, it's a very ornate place. The pool alone must have taken ages to build! "Being there, it felt like a very historic place. I could just imagine Naomi and Kate lounging by the pool," she said. Can you name the designer who lived here?
At her demonstration in South Beach, chef Anne Burrell was full of strong opinions that she was more than happy to share with the crowd. In between drinking pink Champagne and going off on several rants, Burrell managed to make a savory Tuscan fish stew. She also had some great pointers on cooking in general. To see what you should be doing to become a better, more restaurant-like home cook, read more
While I've watched his television shows countless times, before the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, I had never seen Emeril Lagasse live. I wasn't disappointed: his demonstration was packed and the energetic chef was absolutely fabulous! He made Brazilian fish stew and talked about the importance of tasting your food while cooking. He also recommends seasoning everything with salt and pepper, including the individual vegetables in a salad. Lagasse served the stew with plain white rice and spent a lot of time discussing this sometimes overlooked side dish. To see his technique for cooking the best pot of rice ever, read more
If you haven't watched the Food Network's newest show, Mexican Made Easy with hostess Marcela Valladolid, be sure to check it out this Saturday. I've enjoyed every episode since it debuted in January and can't wait to experiment with Marcela's recipes. Over the weekend, at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, I had the chance to get to know the chef better. She was mixing tequila and rum cocktails at the Horintos booth and took some time to chat with me. To learn more about Marcela and find out what she had to say, read more